Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

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talindsay
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby talindsay » February 26th, 2013, 1:00 pm

RailBaronYarr wrote:
mattaudio wrote:Agreed. We need to prioritize transit as a way to increase mobility, not as a way to decrease congestion.
If we say that we're trying to reduce congestion, we end up with this: http://capntransit.blogspot.com/2013/01 ... ng-by.html
We just need to realize that reducing congestion is either not possible or prohibitively expensive, and other options have a higher ROI.
We also need to recognize that congestion isn't always a bad thing... Environmentalists touting higher throughput/speeds ignore that this only encourages more driving, further distances (which is much worse than cars sitting in traffic for half the distance). It also ignores that "congestion" in the sense of slow-speed is better for local businesses and pedestrian safety. This congestion can also convince people to make the choice to live closer to their needs - alleviating it may free up road space, further encouraging people to live where they do or even further out. Finally, we often think congestion is an inhibitor of productivity, although the Atlantic did a quick study showing GDP per capita and traffic congestion are positively correlated (http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commut ... tion/2118/). I'm not saying congestion CAUSES higher economic output, but merely that its presence hasn't stopped places from being highly productive (or great places to live).
You're describing the law of induced demand. Induced demand is often touted as the reason that we can't build our way out of congestion, but I never really bought it until I read Jeff Speck's great explanation of it in his otherwise mediocre book, "Walkable City". The book is worth reading for his discussion of induced demand.

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby RailBaronYarr » February 26th, 2013, 3:14 pm

talindsay wrote:You're describing the law of induced demand. Induced demand is often touted as the reason that we can't build our way out of congestion, but I never really bought it until I read Jeff Speck's great explanation of it in his otherwise mediocre book, "Walkable City". The book is worth reading for his discussion of induced demand.
Thought the book was a pretty good read.. accessible for general people with good tactical solutions to make cities more walkable/bikeable/livable in general.

And to not buy the idea of induced demand is to reject simple principles of supply and demand... to say nothing of looking around what the past 50 years and what we've built, and when, has accomplished with regard to eliminating congestion.

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby MSPtoMKE » February 27th, 2013, 11:57 am

MotorCity2TwinCities wrote:So this is probably a dumb question but why won't this line get its own color? Is it because you will be able to go all the way from Eden Prarie to downtown St. Paul and vice versa without ever having to get off/transfer trains? And the Bottineau is going to be the Blue line extension, so is that because you wouldn't have to get off the train going from Brooklyn Park all the way to Mall of America? I feel like this line and the Bottineau, it it ever gets built in 2048, should get their own colors as they seem to be more than just an extension of each existing line.
It doesn't look like this was ever answered, but yes, it is because trains will be through-routed between St. Paul and Eden Prairie. It would add confusion for the line to change colors in Downtown Minneapolis. Giving the lines colors is about improving the legibility of the system, not about granting each segment its own color just so they are unique.
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alleycat
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby alleycat » March 25th, 2013, 11:02 am

A nice in-depth piece about the railroad dispute along the Kenilworth section of the SW line by Twin Cities Businsess is up on Minn Post. Maybe the Midtown Greenway alignment isn't dead.

http://www.minnpost.com/twin-cities-bus ... thwest-lrt
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woofner
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby woofner » March 25th, 2013, 12:27 pm

Interesting article. Hopefully this mess has gotten people thinking about how transportation planning needs to be handled more holistically. Additionally, one sentence got me thinking (defensively):
But in the 1990s, it became clear that Hiawatha Avenue (later LRT) reconstruction was going to sever TC&W’s route between St. Paul and Minneapolis.
I am almost certain that the LRT component had no bearing whatsoever on whether the freight rail line had to be severed. The point at which the TC&W tracks crossed Hiawatha was slightly south of 28th St, which is where the elevated portion of the LRT is at its highest point. Its possible the LRT would have needed to be elevated higher, adding slightly to the cost of the line and potentially rendering the Sabo bridge infeasible, but I highly doubt it would have been a deal killer for LRT. No, the severing of the rail line is solely due to the freewayfication of Hiawatha.

But this is leading me to wonder for the first time why the rail line had to be severed at all? It looks like the overpass begins gaining elevation just south of 28th St, so the design would have needed modification to a steeper grade, but the current grade is so slight that I can't imagine it wouldn't have still met even the ludicrously stringent interstate grade standards. Even if it hadn't, it certainly would have been cheaper to just rebuild the crossing slightly to the north (they cleared the land anyway, as evidenced by the stupid suburban u of m clinic at the northwest corner), although I concede that this may only be clear in retrospect.

Well if all this results in a tunnel under Hennepin instead of a Kenilworth, that works for me.
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mattaudio
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » March 25th, 2013, 12:37 pm

Indeed, this is definitely the result of the freewayification of Hiawatha and not due to the LRT. Therefore I do not think it is reasonable that the bulk of the TC&W reroute should be paid out of Southwest LRT funds... it should be paid out of state highway funds since it was a state highway that created this problem without resolution at the time.

I think there are two feasible options here other than colocation:

- LRT in Kenilworth, and freight rail rerouted via cut and cover tunnel under Brunswick Ave in St. Louis Park (rather than a flyover)
- Freight rail in Kenilworth, and LRT through Uptown

Also, how is it reasonable that the LPA alignment has been chosen when, in reality, we don't know what the costs of this alignment are?

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Andrew_F
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby Andrew_F » March 25th, 2013, 3:28 pm

Because the LPA was shoved down our throats.

There were at least a dozen Minnescraper members the public comment open house at the central library back in 2009 (?), most of us with the density maps in hand, and the officials there essentially refused to discuss anything worthwhile.
Last edited by Andrew_F on March 25th, 2013, 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MNdible
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby MNdible » March 25th, 2013, 3:32 pm

If only they'd listened to the Minnescraper experts...

[Is there anything we can do to prevent a retread of the routing discussion? Or are we, in fact, doomed to repeat this every two months for the rest of time?]

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby Andrew_F » March 25th, 2013, 3:51 pm

I don't think anyone is/was pretending to know more about statistical analysis than the consultants, I think we were just looking for a little more transparency.

Let's stop talking about why 3A sucks until after we have a FFA, that way we can put it in the same category as the Lake Street Kmart, Hwy 610, and 1960s urban renewal!

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby Viktor Vaughn » March 25th, 2013, 3:52 pm

^^^^ Amen Kazoo

seanrichardryan
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby seanrichardryan » March 25th, 2013, 3:55 pm

MNdible wrote:If only they'd listened to the Minnescraper experts...

[Is there anything we can do to prevent a retread of the routing discussion? Or are we, in fact, doomed to repeat this every two months for the rest of time?]
:lol: Amen. There is always the Bottineau routing to fuss over.
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Nick
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby Nick » March 25th, 2013, 4:01 pm

Part of me hates beating dead horses, the other part wants to turn the dead horse into some meat labelled as beef in a European supermarket.

...too soon?

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby seanrichardryan » March 25th, 2013, 4:04 pm

Also, wasn't TC&W’s route between St. Paul and Minneapolis what is now the Midtown Greenway?
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Le Sueur
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby Le Sueur » March 25th, 2013, 4:11 pm


Viktor Vaughn
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby Viktor Vaughn » March 25th, 2013, 5:03 pm

Sit down and be quiet, the verdict is in,
the route has been picked, much to your chagrin.

Let the authorities work, they know what to do,
they've hired consultants, ...have you?

Tired arguments are on repeat, we are sick of the debate,
the routes been chosen, your complaints are too late.

You've beat this horse bloody, it's been dead for years,
now make like a good American, go watch sports and drink beers.

You'd think we would just ignore, the comments with points we know,
but that misses the point, we want you to eat crow.

Because you have no power, without say on the city's fate,
the politicians make the decisions, how do you think you rate?

Call it a fraud, say the stats were made-up,
shout until your blue in the face, and then shut up.

And don't remember history, please ignore the past,
that way you won't know, I-335 was cancelled at the last.

The property was bought, and razed to the ground,
you can't stop the freeway, to the Moses plan we are bound.

SW is like that, the train is coming down the tracks,
if you think we're doing it wrong, it's because you don't have the facts.

Just please don't work together, for a better result,
because it just might change the plan, and the delay will be your fault.

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby MNdible » March 25th, 2013, 5:18 pm

Nice couplets.

The 3C routing gets to bask in the hazy sunset memory of its fans, not subject to messy engineering questions, cost escalations, or impacts on the neighborhoods that they were going to somehow jam/needle it through. It would have been magical! Just picture it! If only those damned [bean counters /engineers / effected business owners] hadn't got in the way!

I believe that SW LRT in any routing that actually allows it to get built is an unqualified positive for the metro area.

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby seanrichardryan » March 25th, 2013, 11:37 pm

Hazy indeed.
Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

twincitizen
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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby twincitizen » March 27th, 2013, 2:29 pm

Let's pretend for a moment that Dan Patch is a remote possibility and Orange Line BRT isn't "concrete poured over its coffin" as one poster suggested. For what it's worth, there was actually a bill brought up in the MN Legislature this session to repeal prohibition of saying the words "Dan Patch". :lol:

Doesn't the freight re-route essentially make Dan Patch impossible? Wouldn't there just be too much traffic on that short stretch of N-S single-tracked rail for it to work? I feel like this re-route is a bad decision that is closing the door on all sorts of other possibilities. Like when pigs fly and we tunnnel SWLRT under Hennepin in 30 years, it's going to seem really stupid to have displaced freight rail out of Kenilworth and torn down a bunch of homes in St Louis Park.

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » March 27th, 2013, 2:53 pm

Agreed. Which is why I wish they'd see what the cost would be to put a double track cut and cover tunnel under Brunswick Ave rather than the proposed flyover which would still route traffic at odd angles past "DT" SLP and the HS... I have to imagine it would be in the same ballpark price.

I've always thought a rail station near the proposed "iron triangle" would make sense... sort of between the Lifetime Fitness and the Hwy 100 bridge. This would become a suburban station for intercity rail and also be the start of a funnel for multiple commuter lines converging towards Target Field... Dan Patch, Mankato, TC&W, BNSF, etc.

Another option, if that doesn't get built... if we had shorter low boarding DMU trains for Dan Patch or Mankato, they could turn east at St. Louis Park and follow Southwest LRT through Kenilworth to Bryn Mawr, where it could then switch to BNSF to run to Target Field. Granted, this introduces even more headaches: FRA rules about Freight/LRT track connections, a new junction needed at SLP, etc.

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Re: Southwest Corridor (Green Line Extension)

Postby mulad » March 27th, 2013, 3:54 pm

With the reroute, I think we're talking about an increase from 2-4 trains per day along that segment of track to 6-8. It's not a huge amount to have to worry about.


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